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Subject: -ic & -ous suffixes
Question: Both the -ic and -ous suffixes indicate adjectives. But I'm wondering what determines the suffix used? So for example, we have exothermic and endothermic, and we have exogenous and endogenous. Does the -ic come from the German -ich, the french -ique, or both? And whence -ous? And finally, and what initially started me questioning this, is there any rhyme or reason behind which ending a root ended up with? Thanks, Alec MacLean
Reply: Peter Matthews’ _Morphology_ book surveys the etymology of English affixes. You may also want to have a look at Laurie Bauer’s 2001 book _Morphological Productivity_ where he asks, among other things, “What is it about some endings that makes them more widely usable than others?” Madalena
Reply From: Madalena Cruz-Ferreira      click here to access email
Date: 24-Apr-2011
Other Replies:
  1. Re: -ic & -ous suffixes    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (25-Apr-2011)
  2. Re: -ic & -ous suffixes    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (25-Apr-2011)
  3. Re: -ic & -ous suffixes    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (26-Apr-2011)
  4. Re: -ic & -ous suffixes    Susan Fischer     (24-Apr-2011)

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